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Death - Kim Petersen

Death Lessons: Overcoming the Fear of Death

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The only certainty we face is death.

Sounds a bit morbid and frightening, but it doesn’t need to be. Let me explain.

Death is the ultimate reminder of our mortality. It’s inevitable and mysterious territory, and sometimes, it can strike without warning. We can never really be sure when death will claim us or a loved one. With all the unsettling fears that might grip us about death, that one is probably the most disturbing.

Death should have its own soul.

Wayne Dyer said:

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

I have talked about this quote on more than one occasion because I know firsthand the power of those words. By fusing my thoughts and immersing myself with the meaning of that simple phrase, I’ve been able to transform seemingly immovable situations, as well as the relationships in my life.

The same is true when it comes to fearing death.

But it isn’t until we experience the death of someone close that we realize how important it is to relish our time here on earth and cherish the relationships bound to transform form us along the way. Most of all, though, it is when we begin to contemplate and feel our sacred connection to the universe that we sense our immortality.

I used to be afraid of death. When I was a child, the thought of losing a parent crippled me on the inside. Then, when I became a parent, it was contemplating the death of one of my children that proved too much to bear.

Nowadays, I deliberately steer my thoughts away from such notions — worrying about circumstances beyond my control is useless. I know this at an intellectual and soul level. Yet, I am far from perfect. My over-active brain doesn’t always acquiesce to this knowledge.

Through my late teenage years and into my early 20’s, I spent a lot of time at my boyfriend’s house, staying there most nights of the week.

Danny is the boy who owns a lot my “firsts”, including my first experience in a long-term relationship. He was the first boy who ever loved me romantically and the first I’d slept with. More than that, he was the first boy to show me what it meant when someone else cared. He stole my heart with his cheeky grin, fast lip and long dark lashes.

He made me laugh.

During the early years, Danny was full of life and ever the boy vying for his father’s approval. He was great with his hands and possessed a sharp mind. He taught me to drive a car and a speedboat, and patiently coached me how water-ski.

He introduced me to culinary delights like lobster mornay, and we spent hours burning up endless highways while listening to music during interstate road trips.

His family became my family. Literally. My mother went on to marry his father. Which technically transformed my boyfriend into my step-brother.

Meh. Life is weird like that.

As it turned out, our relationship didn’t last as long as our folks’ marriage. For all the great qualities Danny possessed, there was an extreme flip-side to his personality; a darkness that lingered on sadistic and a craving for addiction that would be his undoing.

Danny is dead now.

His mother used to tell me she believed that when you die there is nothing else. That this was it — this one lifetime here in the now.

One life. One chance.

Thousands of conversations and thoughts had passed between us during those years, and these are the words that have stayed with me. Even then, I found it difficult to believe in her convictions.

I couldn’t accept that death was final.

Danny used to tell me that to play “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins at any less than full volume was a crime. He used to say that I was the love of his life and that someday, he was going to marry me.

That never happened. His desire to quench his growing addictions led him down a path that I rejected. The boy I fell in love with and thought I knew had chosen a journey that had shocked me.

He chose heroin.

Twenty years of silence had passed between us when I learned of Danny’s death. Still, during his final days he spoke of me and the love he still kept for me. He had told his sister that I remained his greatest love, despite my absence from his life.

He was just forty-two years old.

I am a deep thinker. This quality has been particular to me ever since I can remember. As a small child, I spent hours observing my family and noticing their divinity — peering past the flesh until their physicality felt foreign to me. The same holds true when staring at my own reflection.

Of course, I was too young to have the correct terminology in my knowledge data base to vocalize what I was experiencing, or indeed to even string together a prolonged chain of coherent thoughts about the subject. Besides, if I had voiced to my parents what I was actually thinking, they probably would’ve pinned me as “special” before thumbing through the phone directory for a local children’s shrink.

Heh. What was I thinking? And how does this relate to death?

Stay with me.

I was thinking the thoughts of every five-year-old, of course.

Who am I? What I am doing in this body? This isn’t me. That isn’t really them. How did we even get here?

I felt like an imposter in my own body. It sounds weird, I know.

Have you ever become super silent, stood before your reflection and really looked deep into yourself? Something happens when you peer past your flesh — you get a glimpse at your soul and sense your divinity.

The immortal part of you.

When you come to sense that truth, the fearful thoughts surrounding death lessens as you realize that death does not equate with finality. It exists as a transition into a dimension that is more real than the fleeting life we experience here on the earth-plane.

The day Danny died I had distinctly felt his energy pass through me. I became aware of his presence and his love. It felt tranquil, humbling and positive. A few hours later and in my car running an errand, I tuned into the radio to catch the beginning of In the Air Tonight.

The wave of emotion was incredible. He wasn’t gone. He is all around and sees everything.

We can’t always explain the strange synchronicities and phenomena that takes place in our world, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. To close your mind from the greater aspects of life, death and love, and judge those that are able to embrace the unknown is a disservice to your soul.

Death does have a soul.

It is through death that I have learned that once the embers of love ignite, they cannot cease to exist. Love really does transcend time and space.

Death’s soul showed me the importance of graciousness, humility and respect, and how vital it is that we practice these qualities in every situation we encounter; as well as every action and reaction we chose for ourselves.

Death drove home the gravity of compassion and gratitude.

Thinking beyond my physicality and questioning my existence eventually stretched my perspective to instil a sense of self and belonging — an affinity to something greater than myself. That realm that holds the most sacred part of us and connects us to everything; the universal consciousness.

It was death that showed me what it means to be alive by giving me a sense of inner-freedom.


Life. Death. Love & Connection

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“I am covered in skin.

No one gets to come in.

Pull me out from inside.

I am folded and unfolded and unfolding.”

– Lyrics from Colorblind by The Counting Crows.

We are over-complicators existing beneath self-created blinders. The world keeps turning. Time slips by as we leave our prints upon the days and nights of yesterday.

We sift and sort as we move through life. Some of us analyze and reflect, others blame, scream and argue. Complications arise to push us towards evolution. Babies are born. Death is everywhere. Love and connection come calling to rattle our senses.

Pain passes from one to another as if through a shifting flame. Some of us go deep inside to seek an ancient knowledge embedded within the spirit beyond the flesh.

Truths are often distorted until it feels right — till you’ve positioned the situation someplace where you can summon a sense of false justification for the wrongs you’ve caused.

It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. You can only do the best you can at any given moment.

But the truth simmers deep within. It hides in the core of your being and awaits your attention. Someday, you will make an internal leap toward a tsunami of revelations that will uncover all that you have buried — All that you’ve tried to forget, and all that will unravel you when you are brave enough to explore the uncharted path.

Life.

No one escapes the human experience. Above all else, each one of us yearns to be pulled out from the inside by someone who can really see us. We crave to be heard by those we love and hold dear.

Do we really listen to one another?

Life. Death. Love & Connection — All that encompasses the moments between birth and death may never be fully articulated, but in sharing our experiences and deepest truths, we may reach greater states of the human condition.

We may bond and understand. We may love more deeply, forgive faster and speak to one another without judgement, fear or resentment.

We may discover a better world.

Buddha said:

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”


If I said …

Life

Grateful.

However, that one thing encompasses many different facets of the same jewel. Within gratitude, there is love and hope. There is appreciation and strength, consciousness and humility.

There are concepts which transcend the specific aspects in life. There are aspects which occupy the shadows which I try not to complain about because it seems inconsistent with the gratitude I have for my life.

— Xavier Eastenbrick.


If I said …

Death

Honor.

With death comes distinction. The contrast between the living and the dead is absolute. Mortality becomes reality. Yet, so does our immortality — the eternal spirit within. You feel it more than ever.

When sharing time with a dying person, the space becomes sacred; the energy shifts into something higher to aid the transition.

Divinity is revealed.

When you can sense that, the pain accompanying the death of a loved one becomes enshrined with a god-force — with love and gratitude.

Respect and love for everything is magnified. Death is all around, and you learn that what was once a great fear is no more.

— Kim Petersen.


If I said …

Love

Sacred Bonds & friendship.

“May love find you and wrap your heart in an inspired cocoon, and draw from that wrapping the beautiful butterfly of you coming into all your being.

Live out loud and let nothing steal your voice. Let 2020 be a year of transmutation.”

— Xavier Eastenbrick.


Love is a snippet of conversation:

“You say the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. How come?”

“I don’t just say things. I mean what I say, I think you know that. I trust you.”

“I trust you, too.”

“Thank you. I appreciate you and the gift of your communication.”

“Who are you?”

 Xavier & Kim


Love is stripping the layers and living from the inside out. It’s being willing to share yourself with someone because you know they sense your worth.

They see you and you see them back. To love and be loved is the highest privilege.

— Kim.


It would depend on when you asked me because over the years it has evolved from a concept rattling around the developing mind of a young man, to an amorphous, overwhelming emotion, to an intensely conscious feeling of its presence within me.

Since encountering her, love immediately gravitates to mean her.

Love floods my soul with a radiating energy that extends to all parts of my creativity and the best parts of me; both in the now and in the making. Love pushes me forward. While at the same time, when needed, it keeps me at a distance.

Many confuse sexual desire and lust for love, and while they exist in the bounds of love the reality is, those elements alone are hollow and ephemeral. When desire and lust exist within love, they have the ability to transmute the energy of love into another level of consciousness; the space between the intersecting circles of the Vesica Piscis.

Once this energy is created, it multiplies just as cells divide and becomes life within the order of the universe’s sacred geometry.

My life has been the crucible fire; forging an understanding of love that makes me humble to appreciate the dichotomy of the smallness of me as a being, but also the infinite of participating in it.

Aside from the fate laden descriptive way I articulated my response, love is also playful and personal; it’s laughing with abandon, soft to the touch, and a raging passionate monster almost untameable.

Love fearlessly searches for greater degrees of depth.

— Xavier.


If I said …

Connection

Oneness. Completion. Tranquillity. Truth.

Connection is that slight pulse that begins in your soul and grows intense when confronting deep truths. The feeling you cannot ignore when you sense the invisible cords linking you to something more; something beautiful … something like higher-love and all that is.

It is inner-recognition; a spark igniting in your soul when you encounter someone significant. The flame. It’s piecing the puzzles of moments passed and marveling at divine synchronicity.

It is being afraid to explore sacred bonds but finding the courage to go there because to deny the connection is to deny yourself the opportunity to experience the deepest love you’ll ever know.

Connection is peeking from the blinders to behold the wonderful moments when clarity finds you; when you become still and reach for more. When you find the key to unlock parts of your soul to revelations that blow your mind and you realize connection had never eluded you.

It was you that had avoided real connection all along.

— Kim.


Thank you for reading! What’s your answer when confronted by those words?


Also published by Imperfect Words at Medium


available now!

life death love connection ebook cover 1jan2020 1

Life, Death, Love and Sexy Connections with Soul.

In this collection of short, heartfelt essays, Kim Petersen explores what it means to live an authentic life, strengthen bonds and nurture real connections in a hyper-connected world, while Xavier Eastenbrick goes deep on the Twin Flame Soul Connection.

Each piece shares the unpredictable, meaningful and often humorous experiences of one woman’s journey as a daughter, a wife and a lover, a mother and a friend as she ignores boundaries to get real and gritty.

In these short pieces, Kim and Xavier tease out their vulnerabilities to bring unity and love to the page by recounting some of their most pivotal moments, deepest fears and wildest dreams. Through their unique voices, you will find a safe place to laugh, cry and be inspired to live an authentic life.

If you like to explore deep soul connections, love and sexuality, and ponder the meaning of life with a side of humor, this book is for you.

Life. Death. Love & Connection
 is the first collection of short memoirs from Whispering Ink, with bestselling author Kim Petersen and Xavier Eastenbrick.


Rooms for the Memory – What’s it Really About Anyway?

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rooms for the memory whats it really about anyway audiofile
Rooms For the Memory – What’s it Really About Anyway?
Audio-file. Listen to me read this post!

I will never forget the final months of my step-father’s life, nor the day I got the call summoning my presence because there was something urgent that he and my mother needed to tell me. I didn’t hesitate that day. Instead, I blew off the words of the project I’d been working on and drove the short distance to my folk’s place who live in the next town. All the while, my stomach churned and my nerves fluttered. Somehow, I knew before I arrived that it was cancer.

We hear about it all the time, people dying of cancer. In Australia, cancer is the leading cause of death. Still, nothing can prepare you when it reaches so close to home. I had lost a beloved uncle to cancer years before, but I wasn’t around to witness those horrendous end days. I got the call to come and say goodbye that final day, but by the time I had arrived at the hospital he was gone. I’d missed him by fifteen minutes and it tore me apart on the inside.

It was different with my dad. I was closer to him and it was me that he sought when he wanted to talk about death. For all the beliefs and spiritual teachings I had devoured and practiced over the years, I found myself struggling for the right words to say to him. What do you say when someone you love is dying? What words can you offer without sounding like a Taoist scroll banner?

What did I really know about death anyway?

My mother is the eternal optimist. She couldn’t or wouldn’t allow herself to accept that he was dying – right up until the day I told her that it was time to call my sister, my aunt and cousin to say their goodbyes. I remember the expression on her face when she heard me say those words; the shock as realization dawned. In those moments, the tables had turned. I had become her rock and her carer. There was no return. The fight was almost over, and I knew she had one foot in reality and the other in disbelief.   

It was Friday afternoon, he was incoherent, dazed, and he couldn’t walk unassisted. Their home had been transformed into something that resembled a medical centre. He hadn’t wanted to spend his last days in a hospital, palliative care turned up every few hours to administer morphine and check in on him and my mother.

By that time, there were no more words to tell him except ones of love and surrender. Those last hours were like a living nightmare. Nobody tells you what its like at the end of a cancer battle. Nobody tells you how watching someone you love writhe and grasp onto the final threads of life kills you on the inside. Stubborn man. Right up till the end, and it was his love for my mother that kept him hanging on. He’d been so worried about her life after his death that he tried so hard to stay for her. For her. Even though he was no longer afraid of death.

I’d whispered in his ear and told him that she would be okay, that we would all look after her, that it was okay for him leave now. We all told him.

From Friday afternoon, he fought as hard as I’d ever seen anyone fight. He fought for love. I couldn’t stay with him and my mother the entire time, but my sister and her husband did. I tag-teamed with my husband because we have young children, but even from my home a few miles away, his presence was all around me.

February 18th, 2018 was a beautiful summer Sunday morning. I’d been with them till late the night before, and my husband wanted to be there too. So, I turned to my writing to fill in my mind as I impatiently waited for him to return so I could get back over there. I was working on Rebellion when the call came. He’d gone without me. He wasn’t supposed to leave without me there. But he did, and I didn’t get to hear him take another breath, or whisper in his ear one last time.

He left and the day was gloriously blue and hollow.

He left and my life has never been the same. It’s when the profound moments arrive that we realise life stops for nothing and no one. The same moments when we know our human mortality in its truest form and acknowledge how fleeting our life on this earth really is, and how final death seems when you can no longer pick up the phone and call your dad.

My mother had wanted to dress him before the funeral. She wanted nobody else but me to accompany her. I watched as she shaved him, spoke softly to him while stroking his face and kissing him as she placed his favourite beanie on his head and fixed his shirt. I stood in the corner of the room fidgeting and feeling numb. He didn’t seem real to me anymore – he was empty and frozen, and he was just gone. I couldn’t relate to him in that way because it was no longer him.

I’d felt the distinct difference of his soul no longer occupying his body. His body was just that; a soulless carcass that no longer represented my father. I knew I could get closer to him in other ways because I felt him all around us. Those feelings made me feel awkward during the dressing, I was relieved when it was over and I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.

A few years ago, my step-father and mother stayed with us for a few days. Those were the days when they’d lived interstate and travelled around Australia a lot of the time. One evening, we sat beneath the stars after dinner and chatted over a few drinks and music. That night he’d told me that a day will come in the future when he was dead and gone that I would remember that night with fond memories and a smile. That I would think of the wise words he so readily bestowed on me and remember him.

We didn’t always see things the same way. We disagreed quite often. He was a fatherless man that strived and struggled to provide the guidance of a father, and he was interested in my work and life as a writer. He’d written and published a book himself. Watching me do my writing thing made him proud.

Although I’d pushed his words aside that night, it turns out that he was right – I do recall that night with a smile in my heart, and not because of the guidance he tried to provide, but because of the love he had always shown me.

I have realized that even in death, he has continued to teach me. Nothing ever before has had such an impact on my life. In death, he has taught me that love is eternal; that it really does transcend time and space, and that the way we love in this lifetime matters.

There are a few people in this world who I love but are not currently in my life. People that I have shared time with, loved from the moment we met and haven’t stopped loving them since. If this is it – if this is all I have to let them know that I still care, then every one of these words matters as much as the love that exists within me.

If this moment is all we have, I’ll bubble it with precious love and push it out into the universe and hope they receive it because the way we love matters. And whether those people realize it or not, my love matters too.